German Olympic eventing gold medallist Ingrid Klimke has retired one of her top horses, SAP Escada FRH.
Escada led after dressage and showjumping in the Event Rider Masters class at Wiesbaden earlier this month, but ran out near the end of the cross-country. A vet check-up revealed she has suffered a recurrence of an old injury. She will now be retired and is likely to become a broodmare.
The 13-year-old Hanoverian Escada, by Embassy I, belongs to prolific German owner Madeleine Winter-Schulze, the DOKR (German Olympic committee for equestrian sport) and Ingrid’s husband Andreas Busacker.
She first sprang to prominence as a nine-year-old at the European Championships in Malmö, Sweden, when she took individual silver and team gold medals.
The previous year, her first with Ingrid as she spent the early part of her career with fellow German Andreas Brandt, Escada had had some notably poor dressage scores, misbehaving in the extreme. Ingrid spent the winter taking her out with her pure dressage horses to do test after test.
“She’s so strong-minded so I had to be soft,” she said. “She taught me patience and repetition, but she had so much potential, she is ambitious, very brave and determined.”
In 2014, Escada won the CIC3* at Marbach and was part of the gold medal-winning German team at the World Equestrian Games in Caen, France.
The crowning individual glory of her career was victory in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen in 2015 and she followed that up with a win in the prestigious Nations Cup CIC3* at Aachen later that year.
In 2016, Escada suffered a ligament injury which ruled her out of contention for Badminton and the Rio Olympics. But she came back to finish fourth at Aachen that summer.
Ingrid will compete at Luhmühlen this week in the CIC3* on Horseware Hale Bob OLD and Weisse Düne.